Coyle takes us from the cyclists turbulent youth in Texas through his many achievements in the cycling field (notably his near loss in the 2003 tour), and his massive struggles against a series of disasters that would have floored most of us: his difficult divorce and subsequent separation from his children and, finally, the terrifying revelation of his cancer. The section on the various solutions that Armstrong tried (including new age healers and radical Italian sports doctors) makes for particularly fascinating reading: as Armstrong realised that his solutions lay elsewhere, there is a genuinely inspirational note here.
Equally fascinating are the descriptions of his obsessive fans, the mind games he was forced to play (both with his opponents and corporate heavyweights), and, of course, his much-publicised relationship with rock star Sheryl Crow. The climax, his victory in the 2004 Tour de France, rounds out one of the best sport biographies in years. --Barry Forshaw
‘Lance Armstrong is one of those few cyclists whose fame transcends the limits of his sport.’ BBC News
‘His world is not only that of cycling, it is the world of American celebrity: of Super Bowl parties with Elton John, weekends at Kevin Costner's house, lunch with Brad Pitt.’ Observer
From the Inside Flap
Made newly vunerable by age, fame, defections from his team, and an unprecendented army of challengers, Armstrong fights on all fronts to do what he does like no one else: exert his will to win. That will - which famously propelled him beyond his temultuous Texas youth and beyond cancer to a level of achievement and fame arguably unparalled in sports - is revealed in new and sometimes startling dimension.
We see how Armstrong rebuilds after his near loss in the 2003 Tour, discovering new strategies to cope with his changing body. We see how he copes after his painful divorce and seperation from his children. We see how he operates among controversial Italian sports doctors, New Age healers, agressive lawyers, obsessed fans, and jittery corporations (not to mention his girlfriend, the rock star Sheryl Crow).
We see the subtle mind games Armstrong plays with his US Postal Team, his opponents and himself. We see him through the eyes of competitors and his close circle of friends, as well as explore his powerful relationship with his mother Linda. We see what happens when he's faced with a potentially devastating book about his alleged use of performance-enchancing drugs. And finally we see it all culminate in the 2004 Tour De France, the toughest sports event on the planet.
Tour De Force offers the first real journey into an arena packed with underdogs, gurus, and orginal characters. In doing so it provides a penetrating appraisal of Lance Armstrong, the often-inspiring, wholly remarkable yet flawed hero, and the world that shapes him.
About the Author
Dan Coyle was born in Nome, Alaska. A former Editor of Outside magazine in the States, he is one of the most respected magazine journalists in his native country, having contributed feature articles to the likes of Men’s Journal, Esquire and Sport’s Illustrated. His writings have ranged from an interview with cyclist Tyler Hamilton to a profile of the captain of the Exxon Valdez, for which he was shortlisted for the National Magazines Award for Feature Writer of the Year in 1990. He has also had two books published (fiction and non-fiction titles) and currently lives in Girona, Spain.